Sunday, April 17, 2011
The New Face of Education?
There has been a lot in the news about a new paradigm for education. The fundamental idea is sharing resources. The best providers in a given area, say AP Biology, offers AP Bio to all schools in that area. This is a novel concept to which current educational structure is not amenable due to contractual restrictions. Apparently any time a kid in district A takes a class offered in District B that is not currently available in District A, there must be a teacher in District A assigned to "oversee" the District B class progress, despite the fact that the teacher in District B is fully licenced and qualified to teach the class. This ups the resources required in District A to take advantage of the class. Until now, the unions have effectively squelched this idea, thereby reducing the quality of our childrens' educations, especially in rural areas where the variety and frequency of offerings is sorely limited. And this is only one example in which the sharing of resources is discouraged. Having a kid in AP level courses, I know how challenging it is to take advantage of these classes, which are on a two year rotating basis at best in our district. Imagine if you will, trying to map out your kid's entire high school curriculum in 8th grade. That is what is necessary to make sure they get the classes they need at this point in our district. Now imagine a world where AP everything is offered every year. Maybe not in the hallowed halls of EHS, but available to the EHS students EVERY YEAR. The possibilities become practically unlimited. And think of the money you parents would save on the blinking tuition fees if your kid entered his or her first year of college as a second semester freshman. That's what I'm talkin' about. Putting the needs and educational excellence of our children first. Share resources. Share teachers. Share excellence. Our kids deserve it. Find a way to make it so. (apologies to Capt. Picard).